Start Good Reading Habits at a Young Age

If you are a parent of young children, you may be wondering about the role reading should play in your child’s daily routine. Most kids don’t become independent readers until they reach elementary school, but the building blocks for reading are laid early in life. So earlier is definitely better when it comes to establishing beneficial reading behaviors.  If you want to know how you can foster good reading habits in your little one, Red Apple Reading has some helpful hints!

READ EARLY
It is never too early to begin reading to your child. In fact, pediatricians are now recommending that parents read to their newborn children. When parents read aloud to their infants, great things happen:

  • Your baby enjoys hearing your voice and having a cuddle. Eventually he will begin to associate reading with these things and consequently develop positive feelings about books!
  • Even though he may not initially understand what you are saying, your baby is being exposed to language sounds. This exposure is crucial for speech acquisition and eventually reading.

Keep the following things in mind when reading to your infant:

  • Babies learn about their world by exploring it orally so books should be made of durable material (think board, plastic, or cloth) and easy to clean. When reading material is baby-friendly, mom doesn’t have to worry about her little one tearing pages or ruining the book with drool!
  • Simple is best. Begin with books that have just a few words per page and an interesting picture.

READ REGULARLY

  • Set aside a time dedicated solely to reading each day. Little ones can flip through their favorite books and recall the story or parents can read aloud to them.
  • Consider creating an inviting reading space for your child. A small bookshelf or basket filled with age appropriate books along with a comfy chair transforms a corner into a welcoming reading nook! This transformation will make reading time a more appealing prospect for your kiddo.
  • Get into the habit of reading a bedtime story to your child. Not only does this help establish good reading habits, but it also helps her wind down and settle in for bed.

READ AND PLAY
Little children learn best through play, so make sure to have literacy-friendly toys and manipulatives on hand. Here are some ideas:

  • ABC Blocks
  • Letter magnets for the refrigerator
  • Cookie cutters in the shape of letters to be used with Playdough.
  • Letters cut from old magazines can to be used for collages

As your kiddo plays with letters he will become familiar with them and learn to identify them.

READ YOURSELF
It’s important for little ones to not only be read to, but to also see the adults in their lives reading! If Mommy and Daddy are sitting down and reading a book, newspaper, or magazine, it must be a good thing to do!

It’s never too early to start laying a strong foundation for reading. In fact, the earlier parents begin establishing healthy reading habits, the more likely they are to raise an enthusiastic and successful reader. You may want to consider an online reading program to help your little one improve her reading skills. Red Apple Reading is designed for children ages 3-8. It teaches phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension. Get started today with our free 7 day trial. You’ll soon discover that Red Apple Reading is serious learning that’s seriously fun!

 

Red Apple Reading Wins Homeschool.com Summer Resource Award

We at Red Apple Reading are ecstatic to be one of the handpicked summer learning resources on Homeschool.com’s list this year! Homeschool parents agree, Red Apple Reading is a great way to keep young kiddos in the reading loop over summer break or any time of the year.

Visit Red Apple Reading today and take advantage of our special summer promo code: RARSUMMER17 for 20% off online pricing on any plan. Existing customers can also use this code on their special renewal pricing. Code expires on 9/4/17.

View the article and list from Homeschool.com here.

Red Apple Reading wins Homeschool.com Summer Resources Award 2017

Get Caught Reading

May is Get Caught Reading month! First launched in 1999, Get Caught Reading is a national campaign that reminds everyone how much fun it is to read. The Association of American Publishers supports this important initiative. Part of the AAP’s Get Caught Reading literacy campaign involves “catching” celebrities reading books of all kinds. Check out some of the celebrities who have been caught reading here.

Why is it Important?

Why should parents want their kids to enjoy reading? A love of reading is one of the most important gifts you can give to your child. Reading boosts vocabulary, increases fluency, improves brain function, and develops the imagination. There are countless advantages that reading affords your little one. Cultivating an appreciation of reading at a young age will yield benefits that last a lifetime!

How Can You Be Involved?

In our fast paced and hectic society it can be challenging for kids to even find time to get caught reading! Parents can play an influential role in helping their youngsters discover (or rediscover) their love for reading! Here are a few tips:

Model Reading – The old phrase, “Actions speak louder than words”, really is true. Rather than constantly nagging your kids to pick up a book, try picking up one yourself. Kids learn what we value by observing how we spend our time. If they see us reading on a regular basis, they will receive the message that reading is important.

Unplug – It’s not unusual to switch on the TV when we want to unwind. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a television show or two, we can inadvertently spend hours and hours each week mindlessly flipping channels. Social media and cell phones can also keep us too tangled up to enjoy a good book. So at the risk of shocking our youngsters, let’s unplug for part of the evening and read!

Volunteer – Hopefully, your child’s school encourages parent volunteering! Your kiddo’s teacher would probably love to have you come read to the class or help individual students who are struggling with reading. Ask your child’s teacher when you can come to the school and volunteer.

Visit the Library – Take advantage of the hundreds of books in your community that are free for the borrowing! Set aside a time each week to visit your local public library. Keep in mind that most public libraries also have summer reading programs for kids to enjoy.

Read Aloud – Kids of every age love being read aloud to! Don’t make the mistake of failing to read to your kiddos once they become independent readers. Reading with your children affords good opportunity for discussion and it provides a good excuse for a cuddle.

You’ll never regret instilling a love of reading in your child. Encourage the members of your family to “get caught reading” this month and every month to follow! If you’re looking for a great online reading program for your kiddo, check out Red Apple Reading today. It’s serious learning that’s seriously fun!

Paws-itive Reading Progress: Reading Therapy Dogs and How They Help

Red Apple Reading - Reading therapy dogs and how they help

Every child is different, and developing each individual’s reading ability needs a combination of approaches. There are probably many things you’ve already tried – so how about something you may not have heard of? Reading to therapy dogs is gaining popularity as a way to develop reading ability in children, as well as improve their confidence and social skills.

Benefits
Studies of therapy dogs in medical settings have proven that interaction with a friendly canine helps to lower blood pressure and stress hormones. This demonstrates that they create a calm and relaxed environment. Dogs can encourage children to read by being non-judgmental and unconditionally supportive. They do not appear to be superior, and do not correct the child as an adult might. The focus of the session becomes the dog, rather than the child, which is valuable for those with self-esteem issues or social anxieties.

Positive Outcomes
Reading therapy dog sessions allow your child to make new, happy associations with reading and speaking aloud. Many parents of children who have undertaken the programs report more motivation and excitement for reading even after the session has finished, as well as increased confidence and communication skills.

More detailed information can be found on the Particular Paws website.

Contributed by freelance writer Jocelyn Brown

 

How Dr. Seuss Can Help Your Early Reader

If you have a school age child, there’s a good chance he celebrated Read Across America last week at school. This yearly reading initiative also includes the observance of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2. Beloved author, Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born in 1904 and wrote 44 children’s books in his lifetime. Most of us grew up reading these wacky tales and have at least a few Dr. Seuss books in our own home libraries for our children. Parents know how much fun these books are, but many don’t realize their value as early readers for their kids. So what makes Dr. Seuss books such a great choice for early readers?

Rhyme
We all love those wonderful rhymes that Dr. Seuss was such a master at creating. Did you know those simple rhyming texts are actually more than entertaining? Before a child learns to read, she must understand that words are made up of different sounds and the manipulation of these sounds creates words. Hearing rhymes helps our little ones develop an ear for words with similar sounds.

Appreciation for Poetry
An exposure to rhyming texts early in a child’s life may spark an interest in poetry. While there’s no guarantee that reading rhyming stories will develop an appreciation for poetry, it does stand to reason that there’s a better chance it will if they are regularly presented with the opportunity.

Fun/Wacky
It can be challenging to get some kids interested in reading because they consider it tedious or too much like work. Dr. Seuss books are a great choice for reluctant emergent readers because they are anything but boring. The wild and wacky tales that unfold when children open a book by Dr. Seuss captures their imagination right away, helping them to stay engaged. Another perk of Seuss stories is their colorful and crazy illustrations!

Easily Committed to Memory
When my children were very young, I would read Dr. Seuss’s ABC book to them. After all these years I can still recall parts of that book, “Big A, little a. What begins with A? Aunt Annie’s Alligator, A A A”.  Children also easily recall these short rhythmic passages. Once committed to memory, children feel they know these stories and can “read” them for themselves while turning pages. This type of practicing instills a love of literacy at a young age.

Sight Words
Sight words are words that are used commonly throughout texts we read every day. You’ve probably practiced these words with your early elementary aged child during homework time. Many of Dr. Seuss’s books contain a prolific amount of sight words. The Cat in the Hat, for example, is full of common words that children need to readily recognize.

Nonsense Words
Dr. Seuss books are also full of funny, nonsense words. These made-up words will make your kid giggle as well as aid her reading development. Unlike sight words, nonsense words aren’t immediately recognizable and must be sounded out. This “sounding out” practice helps children learn how to put letters together to form words.

If you have an early reader in your home, then these books are (ahem…) just what the doctor ordered. Not only are they great reading tools, but they are also great fun! Take a copy off of your shelf today and enjoy a little wacky reading with your kiddo!